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Alabama 622 articles

Listeria Concerns Trigger New Blue Bell Ice Cream Recall

Blue Bell Ice Cream 1

Blue Bell Ice Cream announced Wednesday that it is recalling two ice cream flavors over concerns they could be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. The recall is the first the Brenham, Texas, ice cream manufacturer has launched since a listeria outbreak in April 2015 linked to its facilities and products nearly destroyed the company. The Blue Bell products recalled Wednesday are Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough half-gallon and pint sizes and half-gallon containers of Blue Bell Cookie Two Step. Both products contain cookie dough that could be contaminated with listeria. Although the new recall comes as Blue Bell continues to ... Read More

Colonial Pipeline Gas Leak Raises Concerns Regarding Benzene Contamination

gas pipeline leak, fuel shortage

Nearly two weeks ago, a mining inspector in Shelby County, Ala., reported a gasoline odor. When the odor was investigated, a leak was discovered in the Colonial Pipeline, a 53-year-old main pipeline that carries refined petroleum from Houston all the way to New Jersey. Although a shutdown of the pipeline was initiated only 20 minutes after the leak was reported, 336,000 gallons of gasoline was lost. Public officials have claimed that the contamination of the spill is conveniently contained in mining property, with the only contaminated water being mining retention ponds. But the community around the spill site has expressed concern ... Read More

Investigation finds Alabama ranks No. 1 in prescription opioid use

World of Pain

More addictive opioids are prescribed by Alabama doctors than in any other state, and drug companies are fanning the flames hiring 1,800 lobbyists and spending $880 million on campaign contributions since 2006 to push policies to protect profits, according to a joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity. Comparatively, citizens groups fighting the war on prescription drug abuse spend about $4 million. Opioids – a drug class that includes heroin, morphine and Oxycontin – are the most abused prescription drugs in the country. Some states and municipalities have taken opioid manufacturers to court, accusing them of ... Read More

Colonial Pipeline Repairs Gas Line Break, Ready To Resume Operations

gas pipeline leak, spill, Alabama, Georgia - image courtesy Colonial Pipeline

The owner of the gasoline pipeline that broke in Shelby County, Ala., earlier this month, setting off fuel shortages throughout the Southeast, said its work on a line bypassing the broken section is complete and it will reopen the gas line today. Colonial Pipeline said its crews have been working “around the clock” to get the broken pipeline back in order and keep fuel flowing to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. The line that broke serves as the main gasoline artery for much of the Eastern Seaboard, extending from Houston, Texas, to New York. The breach was detected on ... Read More

Fuel Crisis Widens After Major Gas Pipeline Break in Alabama

gas pipeline leak, fuel shortage

Governors of six states have declared a state of emergency in the wake of a major gas pipeline break south of Birmingham, Ala., that is leaving many gas stations low on gas or dry at the pump. Governors of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia declared emergencies to prepare for a potential fuel crisis posed by a breach in the main artery that connects refineries in Houston to states along the Eastern Seaboard up to New York. The gas spill was first detected on Sept. 9 by an inspector with the Alabama Surface Mining Commission performing a ... Read More

Regions Bank Pays $52.4 Million To Settle False Claims Act Lawsuit

whistleblower reward justice

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank has become the latest bank to settle allegations that it knowingly originated and underwrote federally insured mortgage loans that failed to meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements. Regions Bank will pay the U.S. government $52.4 million to settle the False Claims Act lawsuit and admitted that it certified certain mortgage loans for FHA insurance even though the loans did not meet HUD underwriting requirements pertaining to the borrower’s creditworthiness. According to Corporate Crime Reporter, Regions Bank has participated as a direct endorsement lender (DEL) in the FHA insurance ... Read More

State of Emergency Declared After Major Pipeline Spill Threatens Fuel Shortages

gas pipeline leak, spill, Alabama, Georgia - image courtesy Colonial Pipeline

The governors of Georgia and Alabama have declared a state of emergency amid fears of fuel shortages caused by a breach in a major pipeline that spilled a quarter million gallons of refined gasoline in Shelby County, Ala., Friday. The pipeline operator, Colonial Pipeline, predicted that Alabama and other southeastern states would be the first to feel the impact of the pipeline’s shut down. The pipeline runs from Houston, Texas, to New York and is the main gasoline artery linking Houston refineries to the rest of the Eastern Seaboard. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal was the first to declare a state ... Read More

Finger Amputation Leads To Citations, Fines For Alabama Meat Processing Plant

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A meat processing plant in Bakerhill, Ala., faces fines of more than $75,000 for safety violations found by federal investigators after an employee lost part of a finger while using an unguarded machine. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said the 65-year-old worker at a Keystone Foods facility had part of his index finger amputated on March 7 while cleaning an overhead saw and made contact with the unguarded saw blade. OSHA describes the West Chester, Penn.-based company as “a global food services company that supplies fresh and frozen products such as poultry, beef, fish and pork.” OSHA investigators ... Read More

Controversial herb kratom already illegal in Alabama

kratom plant

Four months before the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced plans to classify kratom, an herb sometimes found in dietary supplements, as a Schedule I drug, placing it under the same classification as heroin and LSD and deeming it illegal in the U.S., the Alabama Legislature outlawed the product in Alabama. Alabama became one of a half dozen states “to recognize the seriousness of this problem,” and make kratom a scheduled controlled substance, Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens told The Daily Home. In Alabama, the law officially covers the two active ingredients in kratom, mitragynine and hydroxymitragynine. Alabama had already ... Read More

Gas Plant Explosion Kills Worker, Rocks NW Florida Town

explosion

A major explosion destroyed part of a nitrous oxide manufacturing facility Sunday afternoon, killing one person and sending a shockwave through the community of Cantonment, Fla., about 50 miles southeast of Mobile, Ala. The blast reportedly ripped through a plant owned by Airgas, a Pennsylvania-based distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and other products. According to NorthEascambia.com, the Ascend Performance Materials facility supplies a mixture of gases to Airgas, which uses them to produce nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” State investigators say the blast came from nitrous oxide tanks in the loading bay, WEAR TV Pensacola reported. ... Read More